TBJ TRAVELS: Bangkok Diaries 2: Erawan Shrine, Jim Thompson House, And Lumpini Park

It's our second day in Thailand! :D

For this post, I compiled our visits to three of the most notable tourist attractions in Bangkok: Lumpini Park, Jim Thompson Silk House, and Erawan Shrine.

Lumpini Park is a huge park that's free for everyone to access; it is touted as Bangkok's answer to New York's Central Park.

People from all walks of life rest, relax, exercise, chill, hang out, have a picnic, read the daily paper, and what have you in this park. The park's also home to various animals including the Monitor Lizard, one of the survivors of ancient Siam. The Monitor Lizards are practically harmless and it is said that they have acquainted themselves with people already, but it is best to not provoke them. However, we haven't seen one when we visited the park. :( We did see a lot of crows though!

The park has recreational areas like this exercise station, my most favorite place in the park and I think you all know why. :)

There's a man- made lake in the middle where you can ride these boats to relax and just have fun.

A friendly Kuching (Cat), one of the many furry residents at Lumphini Park.

How to get to Lumphini Park: Ride the MRT and alight at Lumpini Station or Silom Station; My BF and I discovered that from Silom Complex mall, you can use the MRT station and get to Lumphini Park without having to buy a ticket and ride the train. Just enter MRT Silom Station (near Dusit Hotel), pass the subway crossing and exit at MRT Lumphini Station. You'll find one of the entrances to Lumphini Park to your right. This is the best route to take if it's raining!

In my opinion, there's not much to see at Lumphini Park. It's just nice to go to if you want to take a break from the city, pollution, and noise.

Click READ MORE now for this highly- visited shrine that apparently makes dreams come true and the museum by a man who dedicated his life to the preservation of the Thai Silk industry.

There are many shrines around Bangkok, but the most notable one is Erawan Shrine. Situated near Grand Hyatt Erawan at the Pathum Wan district, Erawan Shrine is arguably the highly visited shrine in Bangkok for a lot of visitors and pilgrims alike claim that it manifests decrees.

Offerings of all sorts at Erawan shrine

The shrine houses the four- faced god, Brahma. The image was placed at its spot in 1956 and according to nearby establishments, their businesses have prospered since it was put there, thus sparking a sensation that attracted Thais from all corners of Bangkok and eventually, people from all over the world. There was this story of a man who was so poor, worked hard, and saved enough money just to go to Bangkok and pray at Erawan Shrine; He asked Brahma to make him rich and promised that he will return to Bangkok every year to worship and offer gifts, if that happens. End of story is the man became very rich and stayed true to his promise to Brahma. This is just one of the many testaments of the efficacy of Erawan Shrine.

I went because first, I believe in these things. Lastly, it's a very interesting cultural experience.

This is how you pray at Erawan Shrine:

At the entrance, you will find this donation box. All proceeds go to the rehabilitation of the shrine. This is just optional. The shrine does not charge a door fee.

Just within the premises of the shrine, you can purchase the offerings. The cheapest is this set of flower garlands and incense sticks, which costs 50 Baht.

Offerings can be as affordable as flowers and as grand and pricey as Elephant statues like these, which you can purchase at the shrine as well. The bigger the offering, the happier Brahma will be, as I was told.

Now onto the worship part: The Buddha has four faces and they symbolize four important aspects in the life of an individual: Work, Money, Love, Luck. Pray to each face accordingly and give offerings. I offered one flower garland and three incense sticks per face.

After praying, wash your hands from this metal water bowl.

There are dancers and singers at the shrine that you can pay to offer a 3-5 minute song and dance number to Brahma.

TIP: According to sources, Brahma at Erawan Shrine likes it when it's festive so the song and dance number will be very much appreciated by him!
A lot of sources say that Erawan Shrine indeed makes a lot of dreams come true. I even have a friend who's a living proof of this claim. Whoever you are and wherever you came from, Brahma will grant your heart's fondest desires, but apparently, his condition is that you must return every year to pay respects at the shrine when you get your wish. Otherwise, he'll take it back.

Let's see if my wishes to the Buddha will come true. ;)

How To Get To Erawan Shrine: Ride MRT Yellow Line and alight at Chid Lom (Chit Lom) station.

Now let's go to Jim Thompson House.

Sites and blogs would suggest to every Bangkok virgin to visit Jim Thompson's House, and that's what we just did.

Jim Thompson is an American Businessman who is remembered for reviving the Silk industry of Thailand. He moved to Thailand in the 1950's after retiring from military service and initially was a shareholder of The Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, but left due to indifferences with his partners; He then focused on Thai Silk, which was in dire straits due to the rise of fast retail that time.

Jim fell in love with Thai Silk that he, according to wikipedia.org, "almost singlehanded(ly) saved Thailand's vital silk industry from extinction." It all began when Jim sent a couple of finished pieces to the editor of Vogue magazine for a feature and was eventually used in the film The King And I. From then on, Thai Silk had prospered.

Jim's house is made up of salvaged cottages from all parts of Thailand and some are over a hundred years old.
Aside from saving the industry of Thai Silk, Jim also saved thousands of Thais from poverty through employment.

Entrance to the house is 100 Baht per person and the house tour is by batches. At the entrance, you'll find these real Yellow and White Cocoons from which Thai Silk is derived.

This is the traditional process of extracting Silk threads. The cocoons are placed in a metal bowl half- filled with water and boiled until they produce delicate threads. Beautiful. :)

This is the traditional process of making garments out of Silk.

There's also a posh restaurant within the premises as well as a souvenir house. When you visit, don't think twice about buying a Thai Silk shawl-it smells so good and feels so luxurious! The silk shawls begin at 1,300 Baht.

The house tour lasts for about 30 minutes. Unfortunately for you guys, cameras are banned inside the house. I understand that rule though because it's a way for the museum to keep on attracting visitors, thus maintaining the house, the silk business, and continuously employing people.

Jim is known to be an avid collector of artifacts and antiques from all over the world, especially Asia. This is one of the bungalows that houses some of the ancient paintings he's collected from his travels.

An astrological reading predicted that 1967 will be an unlucky year for Jim. One day, he went to Malaysia for a vacation and decided to wander in the jungles of Cameron Highlands, and was never found. The year was 1967. Until now, Jim Thompson's disappearance remains a mystery, but Thailand will forever remember him for his contribution to their culture and economy.

Jim Thompson's house is a feast for the senses and it satisfied the Culture/Art lover in me. It might be too touristy for some, but I highly recommend this place because it's practically a work of art and it's where you will see very interesting and important Asian artifacts!

How To Get To Jim Thompson House: Ride BTS and alight at National Stadium Station.

After visiting these places, we figured that a Thai foot massage was well- deserved! :)

Hope you learned something new from this post. Tomorrow, I'll give you a taste of Bangkok's famous street food!

Check out my other Bangkok Diaries here:

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15 Lovely Thoughts

  1. this makes me want to travel with you ms. m.you know so much! in fact, you could be a tour guide! :D hehe..out of the 3, my top pick would be the Erawan shrine. i don't care if I have to visit there every year as long as my wish is truly granted! lol.

    1. Hahaha. Why not? Being a tour guide could be a potential profession of mine. :)

  2. This is such a nice blogpost ms. M..i went to thailand last 2013 with my classmates becuase it was a requirement for our plant visits and seminar subject.. we weren't really able to visit many temples that's why your posts makes me kilig and wish i could go back and explore rltemples as well.. haaayyy!! Can't wait for your other blogposts about thailand..

    1. It's a lovely country. I hope to be back soon. :D

  3. The Erawan Shrine and the Mystery of Jim Thompson are so interesting and intriguing for me. :D Pls update us when your wishes come true Ms. Martha that would be very very helpful! Lol

    P.S. Felt sad about Thompson's sudden disappearance tho :(

  4. I had my brother read your post just so he'll be more familiar with the country where he'll be working soon. He told me they'd have around four days before their training starts so he'll surely be checking those temples. I will also bookmark this page so that when it's my turn to visit Thailand, I know where to go. Thanks for this wonderful travel blog, Miss Martha! (^-^)

    1. Hey, thanks! Good luck to your Bro and I hope you can visit this lovely country soon. :)

  5. Though there isn't too much to see on lhumpini park, it would be the first place I want to go there. Hehe. So relaxing. Im interested to experience too its culture on Erawan shine. I hope one day I could go there and be one of the proofs that it makes one dream came true;) I learned a lot about Jim Thompsons too, thanks to you. You know, learning is fun indeed;)

    1. Agree. Learning is such a wonderful experience, that's why I love to travel. :)

  6. oh dear! thank you for another tour (via TBJ blog hehe) by just viewing the pictures makes me feel relaxed =)

  7. This post, same as with the first one, makes me feel like I was travelling with you. :D I read each and every words. It really kept me going. It persuaded me more to try this country for my first out of the country trip. :) I would love to buy Thai silk too! I would want to try praying to Brahma as well.

  8. This post, same as with the first one, makes me feel like I was travelling with you. :D I read each and every words. It really kept me going. It persuaded me more to try this country for my first out of the country trip. :) I would love to buy Thai silk too! I would want to try praying to Brahma as well.


Thank you for your comments!